Voters reject EU Constitution: the European Union's governing elite are stunned by French and Dutch voters' rejection of the EU Constitution, but refuse to give up their globalist schemes.
But on May 29, French voters sent a thunderbolt crashing into the Eurocrats' unification schemes, with 55 percent voting thumbs down on the new constitution. Three days later, on June 1, voters in Holland sent an even more thunderous message. With a 63 percent turnout that exceeded all projections, the Dutch rejected the constitution by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent.
The French and Dutch votes are all the more remarkable for two very important reasons: Even though the leading politicians, major parties, and principal media organs in both countries solidly backed a "Yes" vote, the people defiantly and adamantly said "No!" And France and the Netherlands, as two of the six original members that launched the Common Market (which became the EU), have been considered to be among the most "Eurocentric" of the EU member states.
Every one of the 25 countries of the EU must ratify the constitution before it can go into effect. So, it would appear that the EU constitution is dead, right? Indeed, many already have written its obituary. "The French people have given a huge smack in the face to an entire system that has the nerve to tell us what to think," said France's leading "No" campaigner Philippe de Villiers. "The constitution is no more."
After the Dutch vote, Liam Fox, Britain's shadow foreign secretary from the opposition Tory Party was even more emphatic, declaring: "The French voters gave the constitution its death sentence. The Dutch voters have now dealt a fatal blow. The constitution is dead."
"Yes" Means Yes, "No" Means Revote
Others are more cautious about declaring final victory. Jeffrey Titford of the United Kingdom Independence Party and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) warns that the constitution "certainly isn't dead yet." "[The French rejection] is a step in the right direction for those of us who believe that Europe's nations should be independent and self-governing," Titford said. "However," he also noted, "it is highly doubtful whether the architects of the European empire will respect the wishes of the French voters. Sadly, history has shown us that in referendums on EU issues, 'no' does not necessarily mean no. This particular battle has been won but the war itself goes on. The Constitution certainly isn't dead yet...."
Like the vampire in a B-grade horror movie that keeps returning because it hasn't yet had a stake driven through its heart, the EU Constitution will return again. Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg and holder of the rotating EU presidency, suggested that the French could be asked to vote again. "We would have to wait for the end of the ratification process," he told the Belgian daily Le Soir on May 25. "If at the end of it, we don't manage to solve the problems, the countries that have said 'no' should ask themselves the question again."
Shortly before the French vote, with opinion polls showing his pet project headed for defeat, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the former French president and the principal architect of the constitution, addressed the issue about what happens if France or another EU country rejects the constitution. "Those who did not vote for the Constitution, we will ask them to revote," Giscard d'Estaing told France's LCI television.
This revote proposal was echoed by Peter Mandelson, Britain's member of the European Commission, the EU's executive body. Concerning the prospect of a revote, Mandelson said: "I don't think that would be absurd because we would be asking the French people to reflect, to hear the argument or the debate in the rest of Europe and then to have a second opportunity to give their verdict again."
As Michael Settle, chief political correspondent for The Herald, notes, these statements exemplify the "imperious" and hypocritical attitude of the "Brussels elite" that has fueled much of the current hostility toward the EU and the proposed constitution. "Of course, if the French had voted 'Yes' last night, then a revote would have been unthinkable," Mr. Settle wrote, "because, according to the Brussels elite, they would have made the correct decision. It's democracy but not as we know it."
A revote on the constitution would not be the first experience Europeans have had with Brussels-style democracy. In 1992, for instance, Danish voters turned thumbs down on the Maastricht Treaty, one of the most important agreements for transforming the Common Market into the European Union. Among other things, Maastricht gave Brussels vast new powers over foreign, defense, and economic policies, including the creation of a single currency (the euro) and a European central bank. The next year, however, the Danes were confronted with a revote and, caving to an onslaught of threats, promises, and propaganda, adopted Maastricht.
The Brussels elite pulled off a similar coup with the Irish over the Nice Treaty, a primary feature of which expanded the EU from 15 to 25 members. After rejecting the treaty in 2001, the Irish ratified the treaty in a 2002 revote. Supporters of the EU constitution have cited the Danish and Irish precedents as justification for a revote in France and Holland. However, this only seems to be helping the EU opponents, who also have been citing the Danish and Irish experiences to remind voters of the arrogance and hypocrisy of the pro-EU politicians and the EU bureaucrats, as well as to underscore the point that "democracy," in the EU lexicon, means voting and revoting until the voters give the only verdict acceptable to Brussels.
Revolt Against the Power Elite
The French and Dutch votes against the EU Constitution may have a snowball effect. It could fuel "No" votes in Denmark and the Czech Republic, and already has sparked calls in Sweden that the issue be submitted to a referendum, rather than being voted on by the parliament, as has been done in most EU countries. Prior to the French vote, only Spain had submitted the constitution to a popular vote. The pro-EU camp portrayed the Spanish "Yes" vote in February as a massive victory for the further "integration" of Europe. However, the Spanish vote was far from a massive victory, and it revealed much of the dark side of EU-style "democracy."
The "Yes" vote materialized in Spain, but not in France and the Netherlands, because of bribery--a crucial policy tool of the EU Power Elite. Spain has received the equivalent of more than 93 billion euros in EU aid since joining the Common Market in 1986. These massive transfers have financed Spain's "economic miracle," transforming it into one of the continent's fastest growing economies. Spaniards, of course, have benefited materially from these transfers--at the expense of their northern neighbors who have footed the bill. In addition, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero spent vast sums of political and economic capital in a mammoth propaganda campaign that employed movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, as well as a non-stop barrage of daily chatterings by the political and media elite.
President Chirac was expecting and hoping for a comfortable "Yes" vote when he scheduled the French referendum. He was not required to hold one, but he apparently thought that this would enhance his political stature. He could not have been more wrong. The stunning "No" vote has been seen by virtually all analysts (and rightly so) as a resounding repudiation of the Chirac government, which has pushed relentlessly for unbridled EU centralization and full political and economic integration. Although Chirac refused to resign, as called for by voices across the political spectrum, he did feel compelled to sack his prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who had helped lead the "Yes" campaign.
When it became apparent that the referendum was going to go badly against him, Chirac took a page from the Zapatero playbook: the celebrity card. Team Chirac brought in actors Gerard Depardieu and Jeanne Moreau, along with pop singers Johnny Hallyday and Francoise Hardy, as well as other entertainment and sports celebrities to prod their fellow French citizens into embracing the EU Constitution. Realizing he needed even more help, he brought German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, and Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero to join the campaign.
With opinion polls showing the constitution still going down to defeat, the "Yes" campaign became even more desperate and strident, saturating the print and broadcast media with editorials and "news" reports on the dire consequences of a "No" vote. French voters were bombarded with messages suggesting that a "No" vote would be a vote for racism, fascism, and xenophobia.
But the heavy-handed bludgeoning and the obvious unfairness (and probable criminality) involved in using EU personnel and funds to foist this program on French voters ultimately backfired. It served to emphatically underscore the fact that despite all the talk from Brussels about "transparency" and "reform," the Eurocrats were as determined as ever to force their will upon "the people" they claim to serve.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, came to New York on May 13 to deliver a talk to America's ruling elite at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). "We are doing everything we can to get that ratification in France," Barroso told his fellow one-worlders. This was a stark admission that merely confirmed what was apparent to most voters. The Eurocrats, who are not supposed to have any say in national elections and referendums, were "doing everything" they could to pass a constitution that would grant themselves vast new powers. And they were using money provided by French taxpayers to convince those same taxpayers that more and more of their spending and tax policies should be dictated from Brussels.
This imperious attitude, as expressed by Barroso, Chirac, Giscard d'Estaing, and other EU power brokers only served to reopen the charges of elitism, corruption, deception, and power grabbing that had surrounded the Constitutional Convention that drafted the proposed new EU constitution. That convocation was a closed, secret affair, in which the "Presidium," headed by Giscard d'Estaing, constructed the new governing system that they intend to foist on Europeans--whether they want it or not. The convocation disregarded completely the wishes of member states, refusing to discuss or consider the amendments they proposed.
Not a single Euroskeptic or Eurorealist (as opponents of EU integration and expansion are often called) including elected members of parliaments, was allowed to observe or participate in the work of creating the constitution. The monstrosity that came out of this process is a hopelessly complex and dangerous document that would put the final nail in the coffin for independence and national sovereignty in Europe and sweep away all remaining restraints against the assumption of total power by the EU institutions.
What the Fuss is About
Numerous reports note that many French "No" votes came from socialists, Communists, and other leftists who opposed the EU Constitution out of fear that it would allow Brussels to impose "free trade and free market" policies and dismantle France's generous welfare state programs. Likewise, leftists in Holland voiced their fears that the EU would change their liberal policies on government social spending, legalized drugs, and strong environmental restrictions.
A leading concern on the right and in the middle is the growing influx of immigrants--both legal and illegal--from Eastern Europe, and even more especially, from Muslim countries. The migration invasion, which has already reached the crisis point under the present EU setup, would be made far worse--and set in stone--under the EU constitution. It will be next to impossible for the nation states to take back control of their borders if that function is formally transferred to Brussels.
EU countries already harbor an estimated 20 million Muslims, and their numbers are growing rapidly. Mosques have sprouted up in almost every city, and burgeoning Muslim populations are creating serious social, political, and security concerns. The brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Moroccan Muslim in November 2004 was still very fresh on the minds of many Dutch voters. Van Gogh was very publicly stabbed, slashed, and shot to death in broad daylight on an Amsterdam street in retaliation for producing a movie criticizing the treatment of women in Islamic society.
The Muslim problem will only get worse if Turkey is admitted into the Union, a major agenda item of the EU elite. Talks on moving Turkey's accession forward are scheduled for this October. With a population of 80 million Muslims, most of whom are very poor by European standards, Turkey's membership in the EU would allow it to send millions, if not tens of millions, of new emigrants into Western Europe. As new citizens of an integrated EU, Turks would be free to move, live, and work wherever they please. Even many European liberals and socialists recognize that this would be not only insane, but suicidal.
The loss of control over their own borders and immigration policy is being acutely felt throughout the EU as more and more Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, and Slovenians move west in search of work and welfare and medical benefits. Many commentators attributed much of the French "No" vote to fear by French workers of the "Polish plumber," a term referring to the flood of cheap immigrant labor from the former Soviet bloc that is displacing French workers. Another flood of immigrant labor will be unleashed when Bulgaria and Romania are admitted to the EU in 2007. And Ukraine may not be far behind them.
How much of the "No" vote in France and Holland came from the left and how much from the right is uncertain, but underlying all of the disparate concerns of the various opposing groups is the core issue of national sovereignty. Whether the issue is immigration, environment, farm policy, welfare, labor policy, or dozens of other issues, a growing number of Europeans from across the political spectrum are opposing efforts to transfer authority over these matters to the arrogant elites in Brussels.
The strongest opposition to this centralizing movement has come from Britain, where Prime Minister Tony Blair has been presented with a conundrum. The French and Dutch votes only served to further energize the British Eurosceptic forces. Blair has signed onto the constitution and for the past year has been trying to sell it to voters with the claim that he has won many concessions to make it more Anglo-Saxon friendly. Blair and the pro-EU camp in England had been arguing that British rejection of the EU Constitution would isolate England and ultimately hurt it economically. But Britain, which has refused to adopt the euro and has opted out of other EU provisions, has prospered, while France, Germany, and other EU countries have stagnated economically. And now, with France and Holland opting out of the EU Constitution, Blair can't use the argument that England will be an isolated spoiler if it rejects the pact. According to British press reports, Blair has worked out a secret deal with members of Parliament to vote against the constitution so that he can renege on his earlier promises to hold a referendum. A referendum would almost certainly end with a very strong "No" vote, and in Blair's view a strong public rejection of the EU would be harder to override at a future date than a rejection by Parliament.
Europe's power elite have invested decades in building the European Union and are not about to back away from their plans, despite public opposition. They will employ a strategy to get around the road block caused by the French and Dutch votes. Their course of action may be decided at the meeting of the European Council in Brussels on June 16 and 17.
Most likely, they will emerge with a plan to proceed with attempts to enact and implement much of the EU Constitution piecemeal, while perhaps simultaneously proceeding with ratification efforts in the remaining member states. In the meantime the EU will continue to be governed under the complicated hodgepodge of treaties that have been ratified over the decades. That includes 97,000 pages of EU legislation, regulation, and court decisions known as the acquis communautaire.
The piecemeal approach has been suggested by a number of the EU elite. Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform in London, told the International Herald Tribune that one way to get around obstruction by the voters "would be for leaders to select key points of the document and adopt them without a referendum." Mr. Grant, who wrote an article for the CFR journal Foreign Affairs outlining various strategies to overcome the "No" vote, does not seem to have any aversion to doing things "on the sly," as he puts it. "Politically it would be a hard sell to make changes like this on the sly after losing a referendum," Grant told the Tribune. "But it would be one quick and temporary fix."
President Barroso, in his speech to the CFR, gave a hint as to a secret trap door that Giscard d'Estaing's crew had conveniently placed into the proposed constitution, apparently to handle this very type of contingency. Seeking to assure his fellow globalists that all would not be lost if one or more countries reject the constitution, Barroso said: "What I can tell you, not to leave you unhappy, is that there is a declaration annexed to the treaty ... that says that in case ... not all member states ratify the constitution, the matter is referred to the European Council, to the summit of the European Union, that will address the issue. But I cannot say more than that at this stage."
What Mr. Barroso was referring to is Declaration 30 of the constitution on ratification, which provides that "if, two years after the signature of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, four-fifths of the Member States have ratified it and one or more Member States have encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification, the matter will be referred to the European Council."
Having now "encountered difficulties," the European Council is free to come up with inventive solutions, such as changing whatever rules may be hindering progress toward further integration and what the elite determine is "good for Europe." One of their problems will be that every step to change the rules to enact the constitution "on the sly" will certainly alienate even more constituents and increase the numbers of Euroskeptics who realize that the EU is unreformable. The only hope that EU member states can have for salvaging any semblance of self-rule and independence is to withdraw from the EU entirely. The French and Dutch votes were a step in the right direction, but pro-independence forces have a long, uphill road before them.
CAFTA/FTAA and the EU
When the European Common Market was launched nearly 50 years ago, the peoples of Europe were told that it was principally a "free trade" pact. They were unaware that the architects of the scheme really intended for the Common Market to steadily evolve, gradually acquiring powers until it would become a supranational government.
As the Common Market evolved into the European Union, the EU's institutions and bureaucrats in Brussels usurped more and more powers. Adoption of the EU constitution would codify a vast transfer of remaining legislative, executive, and judicial powers from the nation states to the EU. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos happily admits that the EU constitution amounts to a death warrant for the 25 member states. He stated: "We are witnessing the last remnants of national politics. The member states have already relinquished control of justice, liberty and security. The concept of traditional citizenship has been bypassed in the 21st Century."
Many Europeans who are now desperately trying to disentangle their countries from this morass wish they had acted sooner, before they had gone so far into the trap. The architects of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement), and FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) intend to follow the same path as the EU, pushing for full "integration" of the 34 countries of the Western Hemisphere, but on an accelerated timetable. EU leaders are very much involved in this process, providing massive funding to the CAFTA/FTAA process, supplying expertise at FTAA and Latin American conferences, and establishing formal ties and offices with Latin American countries and the central institutions of the FTAA: the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America.
The EU is becoming increasingly oppressive and socialistic, and is fast on its way to becoming what Mikhail Gorbachev has approvingly called "the new European Soviet." If America is to retain its freedom and independence and not follow the EU Soviet example, we must make sure that Congress rejects both CAFTA and FTAA.
--WILLIAM F. JASPER
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|Title Annotation:||EUROPEAN UNION|
|Author:||Jasper, William F.|
|Publication:||The New American|
|Article Type:||Cover Story|
|Date:||Jun 27, 2005|
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